Wretch - Bastards Born

Wretch - Bastards Born

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(Digital EP, Private, 2017)

I started rubbing my hands together in anticipation the moment I learned about the digital release of WRETCH’s latest EP, titled “Bastards Born”, in the beginning of this month, like villains do before getting those hands busy, and a big smile was formed on my face. Yes, the mighty Indianapolis trio seems to have returned in the studio and the outcome of this was this digital release, consisting of three tracks, two of which are the title track and the opening one of Karl Simon’s previous outfit THE GATES OF SLUMBER’s final release “The Wretch”, re-worked by WRETCH and presented in a totally different mode. But first things first...

It’s really refreshing to listen to those two older songs, channeled through pain and sorrow, finally transforming into something that beautiful; sure, TGoS’s “The Wretch” has already been carved in my memory as the monolithic, massive and darkest moment of the band’s final LP, topped off by Jason McCash’s road-rolling bass and Clyde Paradis’ cave-y yet spicy drumming, but here, it feels like it was reborn in a miraculous and solid-heavy way. It appears a tad slower, Doom-ier (if that’s even possible) and these basslines will stomp on your chest like they’re carrying all the burdens of the world. It’s impossible not to feel Carl’s mourning the moment he starts spitting the “I’ve a poison in my veins / blackened thoughts to bring me down” opening lyrics. Bryce does an excellent job behind bass, being an ideal partner in crime to Carl’s slow-paced (almost bleeding-like) riffing, while Chris is pounding those drum skins with precision and determination. “Bastards Born”, which also lends its name to the EP, sounds scarier and numb-ier, as its fuzzy intro passes the baton to the monotonous guitar crawl, leading to Carl’s desperate-sounding singing. Yeah, it’s impossible to not get goosebumps while hearing the “burn the bridges / one by one” line, followed by that finger-licking SAINT VITUS-laden guitar orgy. And while you may start feeling that these guys have just reinvented the wheel, the final track “Bassment Dweller” sneaks in with a dominant shred-dy attitude, showing its crippling bass-fed teeth while revealing a bass player extraordinaire. Well done, Bryce!

Many people tend to believe that EPs’ solid purpose is to sustain a band’s momentum while bringing some profits to their pockets, but here, this isn’t the case; all the name-your-price earnings are going directly to charity in order to help other people fighting their demons, so this fact too underlines the foundations on WRETCH’s low profile – and there isn’t that often that high quality musicianship goes hand in hand with heartfelt intentions. Close your eyes, invest on this one (click HERE) and support.





01. The Wretch
02. Bastards Born
03. Basement Dweller


Karl Simon - Guitar, Vocals
Bryce Clarke - Bass
Chris Gordon - Drums